As the largest power plant in North Dakota, Coal Creek Station plays a major role in our everyday lives.

Originally operated by the Great River Energy Cooperative, Coal Creek and Falkirk Mine were supposed to close last year.

The Rainbow Energy Center and Nexus Line offered to purchase the plant and its system in early 2021, with the intent of shifting it into a carbon-neutral source of energy.

Now, a year after it was first announced, everything has finally come together.

“I’m so excited to announce,” said Stacy Tschider, president of Rainbow Energy Center on Monday, “that the sale of Coal Creek Station and the HVDC Transmission Line from GRE to Rainbow Energy Center and Nexus Line is now complete.”

This sale isn’t just a good thing for our carbon emissions; it also makes sure the local community’s jobs are stable.

Not only is Rainbow’s purchase preserving all jobs at Coal Creek, but it’s also protecting employment at the nearby Falkirk Mine and other support workers.

Great River Energy has reported they will continue to operate the transmission system for Nexus Line for the next 20 years.

“Both Coal Creek Station and Falkirk Mine have just been critical parts of McLean County,” explained County Commissioner Steve Lee, “and quite honestly of North Dakota for many years.”

The completed sale and new partnership were commemorated this morning at an employee celebration, where local and state elected officials, as well as other key figures in the purchase, came together to share their excitement and support for the purchase of Coal Creek.

Rainbow officials say they’re committed to moving the power plant towards carbon-neutral options and creating a plant that can produce more energy than before without compromising.

Despite the delay, Tschider says it hasn’t diminished his intent to keep his promises towards the community.

A ceremonial engraved shovel was given out at Coal Creek’s original groundbreaking. Now, it’s been passed over to Tschider — symbolizing a new start for Coal Creek and another big step toward creating a carbon-neutral future.